Western Cape - A Wynberg school was evacuated on Friday when pupils fell ill after receiving a calling from their ancestors, sparking panic among parents.
Immaculata Girls High School is the second Cape Town school to report an incident where learners have fallen violently ill and classes have been disrupted, the WCED confirmed.
According to a Daily Voice source, panic spread in Wynberg on Friday as cops cordoned off part of Clare Street to prevent onlookers from taking videos of the girls who were vomiting and screaming.
“The panic started when parents got a message saying they must come and fetch their children because there was an incident at the school, but they never said what happened.
“When I arrived, there was a group of girls vomiting and screaming and we were told that they were getting a calling.
“It started with one Grade 8 girl and then just spread as more girls started getting sick.
“People came to try and take videos but the school management was very quick to curb this and we closed off the road and moved the unaffected pupils away.”
The source says speculation swirled as a similar incident had been reported at a Mitchells Plain School over a week ago.
“The same thing happened at Portlands High School and there were questions because the pupils were not given medical treatment or an examination to see what was wrong.
“It was a bit peculiar that if one pupil got the calling it would just spread.
“Later in the day we also received information that other pupils fell ill at Wynberg terminus long after leaving school.”
A letter issued by Portlands High School to parents on 22 February said the matter had been blown out of proportion: “We had learners informing us that they received a calling from their ancestors.
“The matter, like all sensitive matters, was dealt with by informing the parents of the learners.
“Unfortunately, due to a lack of knowledge, some learners informed their parents without proper background information.”
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson, Millicent Merton, confirmed both incidents and said counselling has been arranged for the affected girls and other learners.
“It is alleged that the girls were speaking with their ancestors. Regarding Portlands, I can confirm that a learner is alleged to have had a ‘spiritual calling’.
“The parents of the learner were contacted and they collected their child.”
She says such matters are “not uncommon” but schools cannot intervene as they are not equipped to do so.
“The learner(s) needs to address this with their parents and their spiritual healer according to their family rituals.
“No calling is identical and requires the professional support required for that particular calling.”